Promotional floats, sometimes parades, were a
commonplace in the Splendid Era. Even tiny towns got a glimpse when float
routes passed their way. Our Liberty
had a parade for The Greatest Show On Earth in 1952 that's still remembered. In
this instance, however, it's Wilkes-Barre,
Pa. and the Comerford Theatre
dressing up downtown
with multiple trucks decorated in papier-mâché with "feminine
simian" star, Tarzana, propped aboard a mock elephant. I'm no series
scholar: Was there a "Tarzana" featured in MGM's 1939 entry? Wonder if the
monkey was chained to its perch ... almost had to have been, I suppose. Was there a handler alongside? Maybe this was a
solitary ride for Tarzana. What cacophony came out of the loud speaker at lower left can
be imagined. Neighbor merchants often complained of theatres whose street
promoting got too loud. And where was traffic directed while all this went on?
Think of effort applied to a show that likely ran not more than a
couple days (the Comerford seated 1,884). This was where Metro exchange staff
earned their pay, having to construct displays and herd them (plus
Tarzana) about the territory as Tarzan Finds A Son wound through Pennsylvania. Maybe it
was fun, but boy, think of the work.
On Tarzan in general, and Maureen O'Sullivan
specific, there is contrast twixt stills made of her before/aft Code
enforcement. Advertising would be monitored like movies in that too revealing stuff got
the airbrush or altogether nix. It'sknown that Jane's costume took on yards (as above at left),
while portraiture of Maureen went wholesome in keepwith fresh-face PCA edict.
The above center was early, maybe even from her Fox Film Corp days, and represents
posture that would be adjusted later on.
Position of the legs, with inner thighs on view, was frowned upon after
glamour shots got cautious and legs closed accordingly. What we'd see of thighs
tended to be outer glimpse; inner implied access Hollywood was through giving. Still camera
art became hair-split science and photographers/players learned rules well.
Good as any sample of change isbundled-up publicity of Maureen at right. She and Metro camera artists
would need an overcoat to withstand cold chill of censorship.